To borrow a biblical term, after the Chicago loss there sure was a lot of "weeping and gnashing of teeth" around Blues Nation. And this was not completely unwarranted - that was quite a fall from the performance level the Blues and their fans are accustomed to. However, if the worst thing we as fans we have to deal with right now is a sloppy game where St Louis only got one point instead of two ... things are still pretty damn good.
Preparing for this, I was struck by the number of NHL brotherly relationships that will be represented tonight. The obvious connection is St Louis' Chris Stewart and this brother Anthony Stewart of the Carolina Hurricanes. Kris Russell has a brother in the NHL, Ryan, who is breaking in this year with the Blue Jackets. On the Carolina squad, there is, of course, Eric Staal who has 2 brothers also in the NHL (Marc/NYR and Jordan/PIT). Carolina winger Tuomo Ruutu has his brother Jarkko, who played in the NHL. Another forward for CAR, Brandon Sutter, has almost the entire male half of his family in the NHL. He is the son of Calgary Flames head coach Brent Sutter, and has 5 uncles that have played in the NHL and now are working in league front offices. His cousin, Brett, was drafted by the Hurricanes but is now part of the Calgary organization.
The need to right the Blues' ship, to steel themselves for the road ahead, and the number of family connections that came to mind, all lead to a great tune:
The Enemy: The 'Canes are down, but not quite out; their playoff hopes are still alive. The team currently sits in 13th place in the Eastern Conference and 11 points behind 8th-place Washington. The window is closing rapidly, though, and they definitely need this game and the 2 points. Their record in the last 10 games (3-3-4) is making it even more difficult.
They are led in scoring by Eric Staal (19G /41A), but there is a sudden drop off after that. Second on that list is last year's Calder winner Jeff Skinner (19G /21A), and then it's Jussi Jokinen (10G / 27A). As for goaltending, it's Cam Ward's show with 2.82 GAA and a .910 SV%. His backup is Brian Boucher, who is 0-4-1 in his 5 starts and has posted a 3.27 GAA / .890 SV% stat line.
Final Verse: The Blues are back on Eastern time tonight, with the puck dropping at 6:00 PM St Louis time. The broadcasts are on the usual outlets- Fox Sports MW for TV, and KMOX 1120 AM for the radio call. The GDT should drop shortly beforehand, but until then, this is your pregame warmup. Gather here, share your Sutter family memories, marvel at our warm weather, and get your drinks ready early. The "brothers" theme makes the video choice obvious; if you've had a chance to attend a Blues home game, this is the video that plays on the Jumbotron. Some of you out-of-town fans might not have seen this before.
2011-12 Opening Video (via stlouisbluesnhl)